APC Holds 80 Out Of 134 Reps Standing Committees, Others 54
APC Holds 80 Out Of 134 Reps Standing Committees, Others 54
The House of Representatives has announced one hundred and thirty committees to run the affairs of the House.
The Speaker of the House, Hon. Tajudeen Abbas announced the committees at the plenary marking the end of the legislative year.
According to the list released by the Speaker, 80 Standing Committees were allocated to lawmakers from the All Progressives Congress (APC), while 54 Standing Committees were allocated to all the seven Opposition Parties.
Further breakdown of the Standing Committees showed that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) got 39 Standing Committees; New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) and Labour Party (LP) got 6 Standing Committees each, while Social Democratic Party (SDP), Youth Progressive Party (YPP), and African Democratic Congress (ADC) got one Standing Committee each.
He named Hon. Abubakar Bichi Appropriations Chairman, Hon. Babajimi Benson, Defence Chairman, Hon. Regina Akume, National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
Hon. Muktar Betara is appointed FCT Chairman, Yusuf Gagdi Navy, Idris Ahmed Wase, Federal Character while Hon. Bamidele Salam is Chairman Public Accounts Committee; Wole Oke, Judiciary.
Others are Hon. Adamu Tanko – Diaspora; Hon. Okonta Chris – Climate Change; Hon. Chris Ogene – Renewable Energy; Hon. Bello el-Rufai – Banking Regulations; Hon. Ibrahim Bukar-Ibrahim – Rural Electrification.
“Today will equally mark the commencement of committee activities in the 10th House of Representatives as we formally unveil and inaugurate the newly constituted Standing Committees of the House for members to begin to respond to the yearnings of our Constituents through the discharge of our Constitutional obligations,” Hon Abbas said.
He said that the House, since its inauguration on June 13, 2023, has made remarkable progress in solidifying its presence and fulfilling its duties.
“The House has also set up ad-hoc committees to investigate gas flaring and Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on personnel recruitment and employment racketeering. The House has screened and confirmed the newly appointed Service Chiefs. The Committee on Legislative Agenda is concluding its assignment. All these signify the seriousness we have attached to the confidence the people reposed in us. The inauguration of standing committees today, not only marks the completion of the initial phase of settling down but also underscores our dedication to efficient governance.”
The Speaker said that “Pursuant to Section 62 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which empowers us to work through committees, I am glad to inform the House and the general public that the Selection Committee which I chair, has concluded the constitution of Committees for the House. The Selection Committee relied on the capacities, experiences, knowledge, competencies, skills and legislative interests of members in assigning colleagues to different committees. This, we did, to ensure that we have round pegs in round holes. Indeed, we had to cope with the onerous task of assigning members to the different committees based on the criteria listed earlier.”
He noted that he was not unmindful of the fact that despite the painstaking efforts of the Selection Committee in setting up these committees, not everybody will be satisfied in terms of choice of committees.
“I particularly carry a very heavy burden to appreciate members for their unanimous endorsement of my aspiration to lead this House. However, it is practically impossible to make every member a Committee Chairman or Vice Chairman. But, let me remind you that there are limitless opportunities within the House, and I assure you that we will provide these opportunities for every member desirous of service to so do. While the outcome may not be perfect, favourable and satisfactory to all, I have no doubt that the Selection Committee has done what could be considered to be in the best interest of the House and nation. It is, therefore, proper and fitting, at this juncture, to express my gratitude to members of the Selection Committee for their sacrifices and commitment to the constitution of the committees we are inaugurating today,” the Speaker said.
He also advised the members that no committee is more important than the other.
“My dear Colleagues, you would recall that the leadership of the House has consistently assured members of its resolve to be fair to all, irrespective of political leanings and affiliations. There are no grade ‘A’ nor the so-called ‘juicy committees’ as some erroneously often think. Every committee of the House enjoys equal status, powers and privileges as mere working groups to discharge the mandate given to us by our constituents. The committee system, aptly described as little legislatures by Woodrow Wilson, plays a crucial role in legislative bodies worldwide. Indeed, it serves as the fulcrum of the Legislature due to its central role in performing the bulk of legislative responsibilities and tasks. This system involves dividing the Legislature into smaller component units or working groups, which aims to enhance efficiency, improve productivity, facilitate legislative oversight of other branches of government, promote citizens’ participation in legislation, and enable detailed scrutiny of legislative instruments such as Bills and Motions,” Hon Abbas said.
The Speaker also noted that all members of Committees have equal status and must be carried along as such.
“Committee Chairmen are only administrative heads who must ensure the involvement of every member in the activities of Committees. The principle of teamwork should guide our engagements in these committees. Committee Chairmen must ensure that there are functional secretariats for their respective committees. This is very crucial as the House is redefining legislative work at the Committees. All Committees are now required to submit regular reports of their activities to the leadership of the House on a quarterly basis. Investigative hearings, public hearings and reports from oversight functions have to be submitted to the House in plenary for further legislative action. Accordingly, the Committees should draw up their work plans and submit same to the Leadership of the House,” He said.
He said that the House has developed a Monitoring and Evaluation framework for the performance assessment and review of committees.
“Accordingly, Committees will be regularly evaluated using the benchmark set out in the evaluation framework. Committees which fail to meet 70% in the evaluation will be reconstituted. In essence, there shall be no room for redundant or non-performing committees. In light of this, therefore, a Committee on Monitoring and Evaluation is one of the Committees being inaugurated today. This Committee is comprised of all the Principal Officers of the House and will be Chaired by my humble self.
“Owing to the high turnover in the Legislature witnessed in the last general elections and the coming on-board of these new committees, there is an urgent need to build the capacity of Chairmen of Committees and their Deputies to prepare them for the onerous task ahead. It is in this wise that I call on the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) to immediately design a capacity-building programme that will equip the leadership of our committees with the requisite knowledge and skill on committee management, oversight function, investigative hearing, public hearings and useful knowledge in this regard.”